5 Facts About Money In Football

Who was the first £1000 Footballer? Why were Sunderland once known as ‘the Bank of England’? Where did Manchester United’s wealth originate from?

(Getty)

 
Fact 1: The First £1000 Footballer (Alf Common – joined Middlesbrough from Sunderland in 1905.)
 
Fact 2: The Rise Of United’s WealthIn 1902, Newton Heath were facing bankruptcy. Desperate to save the club, they held a four-day bazaar at St James Hall in Manchester at which, among other attractions, a St Bernard dog wandered around with a collecting tin around its neck. On the final night of the bazaar, the dog escaped and was found by a small girl. Her father, John Henry Davies, thus learned of the club’s plight, and was one of four local businessmen who invested in the club, moving it to Manchester and renaming it Manchester United. Seven years later, Davies loaned United £60,000 – sixty times the world record transfer fee at the time– which funded the move to Old Trafford that was to provide the financial impetus for the club’s development into one of England’s pre-eminent clubs.
 
Fact 3: Not So Golden Age –(players were going on strike and forcing “moves” to other clubs for money since 1948)Fact 4: Sunderland’s Spending Spree – (10 years of spending from 1948; got them dubbed the “Bank of England”; later on they were involved in a scandal where they were paying players in excess of the maximum wage which led to their first relegation.)

Fact 5: End of the Maximum Wage

The retain-and-transfer system was finally abolished in 1961. Players had long struggled against a quasi-feudal system but it took the doggedness of Jimmy Hill to win the battle. He took up the case of George Eastham, whose club, Newcastle, was refusing to release him despite his contract having expired. The maximum wage was abolished and so the path was cleared for the vast transfer fees and salaries on offer today.

Read the entire article 5 Facts About Money In Football by Jonathan Wilson.

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